THE DARK DARK by Samantha Hunt
Kirkus Star

THE DARK DARK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

These short stories are works of dark, dark magic that skitter between worlds both recognizable and wholly new.

Fans of Hunt's work (Mr. Splitfoot, 2016, etc.) will revel in her first story collection, which marries her signature flare for the fantastic with keen observation and sharp prose. In “Beast,” a woman transforms into a deer each night and frets about how her newfound wild side will affect her marriage. The strip mall sadness of rural Pennsylvania pushes the grown siblings in “Cortés the Killer” to make a series of terrible decisions. A woman moves to Florida to escape memories of a miscarriage, but they come flooding back during a hurricane in “The House Began to Pitch.” And, in “Love Machine,” a lonely FBI agent botches a mission in order to consummate his love for a killer robot. Even when things get strange, Hunt pins language to the page with such precision that you’ll never doubt her for a moment. Not even when, in “All Hands,” 13 teenage girls get pregnant in an homage to the Founding Fathers—then steal a moment between classes to “[lift] off the ground” like “floating balloons...full of grace.” Hunt also has a knack for writing about the particular sadness and anxiety of middle-aged women in suburban and rural America, whether precipitated by motherhood, marriage, or loneliness. As one narrator remarks in “Love Story,” “while no one wants to hear about middle-aged female sexual desire, I don’t care anymore what no one thinks.” Thankfully, Hunt is more than good enough to make you care.

Grab your comforter and a flashlight for this tour de force collection from one of our most inventive storytellers.

Pub Date: July 18th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-374-28213-4
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2017




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